How easy it is to find an NHS dentist in Derbyshire?

The impact of Covid-19 on dentistry has been severe.  Dental practices are working hard to recover but patients not already on their lists are the worst hit.  Healthwatch Derbyshire has listened to your feedback, we’ve researched the NHS website to understand how easy it is to find an NHS dentist in Derbyshire and have spoken to dental practices with missing information on their NHS website profiles.

 

How easy it is to find an NHS dentist in Derbyshire?

The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on dentistry has been severe.  Pressures from infection prevention measures and thousands of delayed treatments have reduced the number of available appointments. Dental practices are working hard to recover to pre-pandemic levels of operation but current circumstances have amplified the shortage of NHS dental provision for new patients.

Healthwatch Derbyshire (HWD) over the last year has increasingly heard from people in Derbyshire most affected –  those who are not already on an NHS dental practice list – experiencing difficulties in finding an NHS dentist accepting new patients.

Our ‘How easy is it to find an NHS dentist in Derbyshire?’ report identifies the scarce capacity in Derbyshire for new NHS dental patients, highlights the frustrating user-experience of the NHS website ‘Find a Dentist’ search tool and hears from dental practices themselves the reasons why 60% had profiles with missing information on the NHS website.

The report has been shared with the teams responsible for commissioning NHS dental provision in Derbyshire, NHS England and NHS Improvement for the Midlands, the Local Dental Network and the Derby & Derbyshire Oral Health Steering Group.

HWD will use the findings in this report to work with NHS providers in Derbyshire to address the recommendations which include:

  • Funding additional new patient capacity in areas of need within Derbyshire
  • A protocol to be defined to ensure dental practices update their profiles on the NHS website
  • Improvements to the user experience of the NHS website
  • Clear public information to be widely available about how to access NHS dentistry.

Thank you to our volunteers for giving their time to research the NHS find a dentist website.

 

Dental access report for Thursday 23rd December 2021

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